Chicago Metro Presbytery exists to extend the gospel and to oversee the work of the ministry of the PCA throughout the Chicago Metropolitan area to the glory of God.
Monday, February 21, 2011
Haiti 2011 Mission Update #3
February 20, 2011: Sundays are joyful days for Christians in Haiti. Gathering together with God’s people to worship Him is the main focus of their day. Services are multi-hour events, filled with praise and much music and the preaching of God’s word. Nothing but their best attire will do, to show their respect for the Sabbath of God.
And then they come back and do it all again in the evening.
Our team worshipped first today at Bon Berger at 6:30. Breakfast followed that, and then the team went three different ways for a second worship service.
A slight change in the plans as they were made yesterday (which will become a common theme in their visit to Haiti) – because of translator issues, Bob Allums did not preach the second service at Bon Berger this morning. Instead, he preached at the “second site” work of Bon Berger in the Savanes community of Les Cayes – the new church plant in the slums of that city. A picture of that is attached. The new church building is not yet complete, but is already filled with 80 worshippers every week. Their pastor is Pastor MonChera, who said today he’d been praying every day for months for this week to finally come – when partners from America would come to preach the word and then spend two days meeting the medical needs of his community. And those needs are great.
Following the second morning services the team went back to the guest house for lunch, a little rest, and an afternoon of preparing for tomorrow – organizing, confirming the teams (three different ones), and organizing the on site pharmacy at Cambry, from which they will restock their mobile supply bags every night. There are also clothing donations to pack each time. Also, this time the team packed hundreds of fliers on proper handwashing and cholera prevention. They’ve been divvied up so that every place they go and every pastor attending the training in Cambry would get multiple copies. In this way, they hope to spread the information to people all over Haiti.
Then, the evening service at Bon Berger (at which Ted preached), a little dinner, more work on organizing the mountain of supplies they brought with them, and lights out to rest for a very busy day tomorrow. Breakfast at 7:00, team devotional at 7:30, and depart for their destinations at 8:00. Of course, it’s Haiti, and time is more fluid than most Americans experience.
Here are some specific things to pray for:
·There is often only electricity on a spotty basis at the guest house , which includes the ability to have running water as well as lights and air conditioning. Being able to shower and then sleep in a cool place is a huge blessing to our team; please pray that those things would be available all week, as they were this evening.
·The teaching team (Bob Allums and Jeff Owen) will be sharing materials on “The Person of Jesus” with pastors from the area Monday through Wednesday. They have been told that 140 pastors from all over Haiti will be there, some of whom will likely sleep out under the Haitian stars for a few nights in order to attend the training. Please pray that the teachers would connect with their students, even through an interpreter, and that the students would grow in their ability to lead their flock through this training as well as find personal great refreshment.
·A team will stay at Cambry Monday and Tuesday, which is the site of the oldest and most established orphanage/school. A “triage” system is set up, where children are checked out on vitals and then routed appropriately from there; all get vitamins and a scabies wash (scabies is a skin parasite that spreads rapidly, is extremely contagious and usually causes acute itching leading to skin infections if not treated); many get intestinal parasites treatment, and all are seen by doctors. Next stop is the pharmacy where medicines are bagged and tagged with their names and written instructions given to the housemoms for that child.
·The third team will go back to Savanes, the slum community in Cayes. Just a cursory drive through today on the way to church told the team that they will find the health conditions of the children (and adults) deplorable. Pastor MonChera prayed today at church that the team would be well rested for their work there Monday and Tuesday. He knows how badly off the children are in this community, where the unemployment rate is virtually 100%, many residents are earthquake refugees, and there isn’t even enough government infrastructure to provide a school for the children. Spiritually, Savanes is a place of desperate circumstances as well. Voodoo is active and those who practice it frighten and intimidate the community with their displays, including a table of food and wine set up in the middle of the street as a gift for the main demon of Savanes. Our team saw a parade through the street on their way to worship at the food offering this morning. It is indeed a community that needs the light of Jesus. The team will be set up in a “community center” with crowd control provided by local “leaders” (often the members of the most powerful street gang, willing to provide services because it benefits their people). ESMI staff will be there as well. Please pray that the team would work smoothly together, stay calm in the chaos, and be well protected from the crush of people who are desperate to see them – mostly moms who know they can help their children.